Community Works Institute (CWI) directly supports K-16 educators and schools in making their local community the focus and context for powerful student learning experiences. CWI’s work with educators is focused on using the local community as the classroom through the lens of place-based service-learning, sustainability, and social justice. CWI particularly emphasizes student voice and reciprocity in its program design work.

Since 1995, CWI has provided powerful on-site support and professional development for educators around the globe, including its acclaimed annual Summer Institutes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. CWI’s Summer Institutes are the longest running professional development events of their kind. CWI also provides resources for educators, including Community Works Journal, a digital magazine for educators.

What We Offer

  • On-site support for K-16 schools: consulting, extended workshops, and local institutes.
  • Design and consulting support for community focused initiatives.
  • Collaborative Ethnography for teachers and students.
  • Annual Summer Institutes on place-based service-learning and sustainability.
  • Resources and curriculum design tools for K-16 and community educators.
  • Community Works Journal, a digital magazine for educators.
  • Opportunities to participate in CWI’s network of like-minded educators.


This was a profound and wonderful experience incorporating meaningful connections and professional growth. I very much appreciated the interdisciplinary nature of the group. This was an outstanding opportunity and I learned a great deal from the collection of colleagues and collaborators. Now I know that I’m not alone and that there are some other very strong people doing great things! Now I can bring support to the work and passion that I have well beyond concept.”

Matthew Budd

Director of Community Action, The Berkeley Carroll School Brooklyn, New York

Scheduled PD Offerings


Scheduled PD Offerings


CWI’s SPOTLIGHT Series: Conversations with Educator Change Makers

Join CWI for a series of LIVE conversations with inspiring educator change makers around how we can create relevant and powerful learning experiences in these greatly challenging times. These sessions are in-depth conversations with innovation leaders in K-12 classrooms, universities, museums, and experiential learning. If you are an educator and/or community builder, this conversation series is for you!

CWI 2020 – 2021 Institutes for Educators 

Design Compelling Virtual and Hybrid Instructional Content and Projects.

Teach for Social Justice through Experiential Learning.

Bring your vision, program, and project ideas to CWI’s 2020 – 2021 VIRTUAL Institutes! Institute workshops include inspired learning from our Institute faculty that will support your teaching and programs, whether virtual or in-person/hybrid. Our Institutes are the ideal opportunity for individual educators or teams to begin or advance projects and programs that are flexible for virtual and in-person/hybrid learning scenarios. Our Institute team includes exceptional educators from Otis College of Art and DesignSocial and Public Art Resource CenterSmithsonian’s Digital Learning LabArizona State Museum, and Kundhardt Film Institute, producers of the acclaimed film True Justice.  Our Virtual Institutes are highly experiential, capturing the substance and alchemy of CWI professional events—without geographic limitations—allowing us to bring exciting new resources into our process.

WINTER Virtual Institute, January 28 – 30, 2021

Summer EAST Institute, June 21 – 25, 2021

Summer WEST Institute, July 26 – 30, 2021